GALLIPOLIS — The Bossard Memorial Library encourages horse and race lovers alike to get an inside perspective of the history of the Kentucky Derby, April 29, at 2 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
Professor Jim Claypool, a Smithsonian consultant and Professor Emeritus at the Northern Kentucky University, will be present to discuss his love of the race and its history along with what Bossard Adult Programming Coordinator Lynn Pauley has called race artifacts. Claypool is recognized nationally for his knowledge of Thoroughbred racing and his insights into the development and beginnings of the “fastest two minutes in sports.”
Recognized as America’s longest-running sport event, it started in 1875 and is held the first Saturday of May. It is held in Louisville, Kentucky, and is part of a two-week-long festival.
Claypool has served as host for TV programs for KET and other area stations and has made frequent appearances on local, state, regional, and national TV and radio in a variety of capacities. He has authored or co-authored numerous books related to Kentucky and Kentucky history and is a national consultant on thoroughbred racing for the Educational Division of the Smithsonian. His work in progress, “For the Love of the Game,” is the autobiography of jockey Steve Cauthen. Professor Claypool and his wife live in Paris Hills, Kentucky.
The Kentucky Derby is considered the first part of the American Triple Crown with the Preakness Stakes Crown and Belmont Stakes after. Horses must take all three races to be considered the Triple Crown winner. Attendance is typically the highest at the derby, reportedly.
Mint julep mocktails will be served along with snacks at the event. The mint julep is a cold drink often served at the race consisting of bourbon, sugar syrup and mint.
The face has also been called the Run for the Roses because of over 550 red roses that get awarded to the race’s winner each year. The race is run by Thoroughbred horses who are three years-old and held at Churchill Downs.
“Thoroughbred” is considered a racing horse breed but the word has often been used to describe purebred animals.